Saturday, October 28, 2006

Gameday Preview: Caps vs. Oilers

Who: Your Nation’s Capitals vs. Edmonton Oilers
Where: Rexall Place
7424 118 Ave. N.W.
Northlands Park, Edmonton, AB T5B 4M9
When: Saturday, October 28, 2006, 10:00 EDT

Broadcast Information: Comcast Sportsnet, WTEM-980 AM; CBC, CHED 630

Media Notes:
Game Notes in PDF
CBC Gameday Preview
Edmonton Sun

2005-2006 Season Series: N/A

Last Game: Jan 11, 2004 in Washington, Caps won 1-0
- Despite multiple penalties against the Caps, including a double minor in the second to Brendan Witt and a 2 minute 5-on-3 thanks to Jagr’s illegal stick, Edmonton was unable to beat Olie Kolzig.
- The only offense in the game came from three players no longer on the Caps roster – Robert Lang scored his 22nd goal of the season, assisted by Jeff Halpern and Jaromir Jagr.
- Only 4 players from that game are still with the Caps – Eminger, Pettinger, Semin and Olie.
- The match featured the first appearance by former captain Adam Oates since being traded to Philly in 2002. Fans reportedly hooted whenever he touched the puck.
- 6 other games were taking place January 11, and all 6 of them went to overtime. A sign of the past – 5 of the 6 games ended in a tie.

Things to Watch For:
- The Caps are coming off a very intense game in Vancouver and flew into Edmonton early this morning, where the puck will drop in less than 10 hours. The Oilers have not played since Thursday. I’d expect the energy level to be a factor tonight.
- Edmonton is 6-4-0 this season but has dropped 2 straight, including one to the lowly Phoenix Coyotes. Their frustration level is high and apparently McTavish is shuffling his lines to stop the slide.
- With Olie facing 90+ shots in his last two starts and playing a particularly rough game last night, Johnson will get the start tonight. It will be his third start in the young season and he is looking for his first win – if the guys play better in front of him tonight and he continues to perform the way he has in recent games, we may have a shot.
- I felt that Eminger and Morrisonn both had pretty bad games last night; they need to pick it up tonight if the Caps have any chance of another point on the road.
- Transition games are killing the Caps – both Colorado and Vancouver displayed amazing quickness in getting the puck up and out of their own zone, often leaving the Caps behind to create odd-man breaks. They got away with it in Denver by playing a more solid game, but last night was a different story.
- Despite the loss last night, the Caps have picked up 10 points in their first 9 games and are off to their best start since the 1997-98 campaign.
- Both Oiler goaltenders have been under fire for their performances in Edmonton’s last two games, dropping consecutive games with a score of 6-2. The Caps offense has been pretty sharp lately and could test either goaltender if they come out firing.

Potential Lineup for the Washington Capitals

(No nicknames today – they don’t deserve them…)

8-Ovechkin, 9-Zubrus, 17-Clark
28-Semin, 24-Beech, 20-Zednik
18-Pettinger, 16-Sutherby, 10-Bradley
87-Brashear, 38-Klepis, 22-Fata

2-Pothier, 26-Morrisonn
27-Clymer, 44-Eminger
6-Heward, 52-Green

1-Johnson, 37-Kolzig

Potential Lineup for the Edmonton Oilers
28-Thoresen, 71-Sykora, 83-Hemsky
94-Smyth, 10-Horcoff, 15-Lupul
14-Torres, 16-Stoll, 34-Pisani
22-Jacques, 19-Reasoner, 26-Winchester

21-Smith, 29-Tjarnqvist
5-Smid, 24-Staios
2-Greene, 47-Bergeron

30-Markkanen, 35-Roloson

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